Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the Indian contingent participating in the Rio Olympics, saying the country is proud of their “endurance, determination and dedication”. Taking to Twitter on Saturday, he added that victory and setbacks are a part of life.
“I urge all athletes who have their games remaining to give their best & play with determination, not get burdened by what the result will be,” Modi tweeted. This was in response to cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s request to the Prime Minister to talk about the athletes.
Modi had invited the public to write his Independence Day speech. Tendulkar’s request was in light of that, but Modi said he wanted to “do so now”. “I appreciate the thought of @sachin_rt but I want to add-why wait for 15th August to speak about the subject,” he wrote.
India’s day at the Games on Saturday resulted in both wins and losses. On the tennis front, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza lost to America’s Rajeev Ram and Venus Williams, 6-2, 2-6, 3-10. They will now take on Czech Republic in the fight for the bronze.
Separately, boxer Vikas Krishnan is a win away from an Olympic medal after beating Turkey’s Sipal Onder 3-0 in the men’s 75kg middleweight boxing.
Golfers SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri are at 22nd and 57th respectively and will participate in the next round on Sunday.
Lalita Babar will participate in the 3000 metre steeplechase finals on Monday, August 15, after finishing fourth in the qualifying heat. With a timing of 9:19.76, she has beaten the national record, made in May by Sudha Singh (9:26.55). Lalita has previously won bronze at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The Indian men’s hockey team drew against Canada, 2-2, and will play Belgium in the quarterfinals on Sunday. The women lost out to Argentina, and are knocked out of the Rio Olympics. They failed to advance to the quarterfinals after being defeated 5-0, their fourth consecutive loss in Pool B. The match was do-or-die for both sides. However, the team inked history qualifying for the Games for the first time since 1980.
Shuttlers Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy defeated Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa in straight games. Sole Indian rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal topped the Final C and finished 13th overall.
It was a bad day for athletes Sudha Singh and Nirmala Sheoran, who failed to move to the next round. Women’s badminton doubles pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa also failed to win any of their league matches. Shooters Gurpreet Singh and Mairaj Ahmad Khan failed to perform as well.